Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech: "A More Perfect Union"

Posted by Teresa at 1:30 PM


Partial transcript
of speech:

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within
our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal
citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and
justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from
bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights
and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were
Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through
protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and
civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the
promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to
continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just,
more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to
run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that
we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless
we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but
we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have
come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards
a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity
of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I
was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression
to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who
worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas.
I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's
poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the
blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious
daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every
race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live,
I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story
that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than
the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary,
we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite
the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding
victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South
Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of
African Americans and white Americans.

So I saw Obama's speech this morning on the topic of race. I never doubted that he
would deliver a rhetorically good speech. I appreciated the candor and the depth of
the speech. I was surprised by its length. I've heard some television commentators
say it's the most historic speech made about race in the past 40 years, I'll let you
decide that.

This should surely put the Reverend Wright issue to rest now. Although, it has
undoubtedly tampered his unity message, a major theme in his campaign. Probably
my least favorite part of the speech is where he decries "corporate" America:

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white
resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class
squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting
practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and
special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many.

Just not my cup of tea.

3 comments:

BRI on 3:51 PM, March 18, 2008 said...

great of you to post this.

UJ on 4:31 PM, March 18, 2008 said...

He doesn't decry "Corporate America." He's talking about insidious activities within corporate structures. Slow down when you're reading.

And writing.

Teresa on 5:12 PM, March 18, 2008 said...

UJ,

Sorry but I heard and read the speech. The only way I interpreted his comments were that corporate greed and our tax policies are causing strife in our country, which is absolutely fine if he believes that, I just don't believe it.

 

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